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Brighton Journal | 22nd October 2019

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The council promises that the Valley Gardens project will make Brighton a more sustainable city

The council promises that the Valley Gardens project will make Brighton a more sustainable city
Lauren Nicolle

It’s been one year since works started on Valley Gardens, a major project which aims to improve the transport network and public realm in the centre of Brighton.

The project is designed to create a new traffic system that will improve transport links and create a new, larger central park. Work is currently underway on Phases 1 & 2 of the project, which focuses on the area from St Peter’s Church to Edward Street.

Although many residents of Brighton have voiced their concerns over the new plans for Brighton’s city centre, the council promises that the project will make the city more sustainable.

Over recent years, the development of traffic infrastructure has invited more traffic, leading to more congestion and increased air pollution. This infrastructure has also closed off green spaces, leaving them segregated and hard to access. The introduction of a series of junctions and gyratories has made walking and cycling through the area difficult and unpleasant. The Valley Gardens project is designed to address this.

Key outcomes

Overall the finished scheme will bring two key outcomes.

Firstly, it will form a vital part of our move to become a carbon neutral city by 2030 through investment in a sustainable transport network that supports walking, cycling, and public transport.

Secondly, it will give public space back to the local community, allowing the city’s residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy this area of our city once more.

How will this be done?

Phases 1 & 2 of the scheme are now well underway, the city has seen a new road layout and new cycling and walking paths. Works to create a central park will soon follow, including planting of more than 150 trees, which will improve the environment and air quality.

Phase 3, which focuses on the area from the Old Steine to the Palace Pier, is a continuation of this work and it is vital to achieving the overall aims for the area, including coordinated sustainable transport links and open public spaces through the city centre and down to the sea.

The completed scheme will open up key city landmarks, including the iconic Royal Pavilion and the vibrant Kemp Town area in the east of the city.

The Pavilion Gardens, one of the most popular and well-loved green spaces in the city, has been listed as at risk by Historic England. Creating an open public space in front of the gardens and distance away from road traffic, will protect and preserve the gardens into the future.

Reaching the city’s ‘full potential’

The council emphasizes that they are not trying to make resident’s lives difficult by moving away from car use completely, but are instead trying to improve air quality in different ways. By providing more public, green space – the project aims to protect the local environment and enhance the landmarks that draw people to the city, including the Royal Pavilion and the seafront.

The Valley Gardens scheme aims to unearth the full potential of Brighton’s bustling city centre, by giving the community access to public space while also providing the infrastructure needed to meet the pace and scale of Brighton’s environmental needs.

For more information about the Valley Gardens scheme, please visit the council’s website.

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